Tax Preparation Awareness

TaxesBy Russell M. Wilson, Chief Criminal Investigator, DES, FGGM

As tax season approaches, so do the early offers for cashing in your return for instant savings. There are some very important things you should think about before you decide to consider an offer.

First, has it been advertised through media forums, does it seem too good to be true, or is it from a trusted supplier? Second, what is the buy in order to obtain the deal, e.g., do you have to pay a percentage, write a voided check, release personal information, or commit to a contract? The final though you should contemplate is “do I need it right now…what am I missing out on if I wait.

In preparation prior to the tax season, everyone should go to the Federal Trade Commission web site to request a free copy of your credit report, which you are entitled to every twelve months. You will receive a credit report from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

If you are a victim of tax fraud go to the Internal Revenue Service website to file a report.

Last year alone there were over 2 million fraudulent tax records filed. Between identity theft and tax fraud there are billions of dollars lost each year.

IRS- reporting tax fraud:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/How-Do-You-Report-Suspected-Tax-Fraud-Activity%3F

IRS Top 10 Tax Scams for 2013 to be aware of:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-Dirty-Dozen-Tax-Scams-for-2013

For free credit reports go to:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports

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